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post #1 of 14 Old 02-16-09, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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vinyl question.

I recently got into the world of vinyl (again) and bought a used Music Hall 2.1 TT and a Parasound Z-phone pre. I think overall it sounds good but here is a question. If let's say I start getting hardcore into vinyl I decide to upgrade the TT and phono pre in the future with say a 2K budget will the "noise" of the vinyls come through that much more. I'm talking dust and such.

I see some vinyl setups ranging from 1k to 10k and am curious if you have to buy a new vinyl every time you listen because they seem to get dirty quickly?
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-16-09, 08:19 AM
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Re: vinyl question.

If you keep your albums clean and well taken care of a well built TT, with a high quality arm can be near neutral. There will still be some surface noise, but this will be minimal compared to lesser built tables.

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post #3 of 14 Old 02-16-09, 10:13 AM
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Re: vinyl question.

I'd look into appropriate record care before investing too much more in vinyl. There are cost effective means for cleaning your albums.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-16-09, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: vinyl question.

yeah I haven't really looked around much. I'm mainly asking because a friend brought some Mobile Fidelity albums over that he bought used (Floyd, Beatles and such) and they were fairly expensive but all of them seemed fairly dirty. I guess I should ask how safe is it to buy used vinyl?
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-17-09, 10:59 AM
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Re: vinyl question.

Its all about keeping the vinyl clean, no matter what TT you use.

I use a 50/50 solution of distilled water and rubbing alcohol, that I keep in a spray bottle. I use a record cleaning brush I've had for years, to spread the solution. Then wipe the record with a soft cloth dampened with distilled water, and then with a dry piece of cloth. Finally, using a cleaned brush attachment on a vacuum, I vacuum the record to suck up any remaining dirt.
All my vinyl is anywhere between 90~100% as clean as when they were new.
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-17-09, 01:23 PM
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Re: vinyl question.

I know NOTHING about TurnTables -- that's a whole level of expense that I'm trying to avoid.

That being said, on another forum I peruse, there is one guy who used to be totally CD even though the rest of his system is extremely non-digital. Anyway, he converted to Vinyl after using a moving coil catridge instead of a moving magnent. The TT he referred people to was the Music Hall 2.2. And then spend >$250 on a moving coil catridge.

Also, cleaning the vinyl and making sure you leave the dust cover on your turntable should be fine for your setup.

Here is some more info he threw in..
One wrinkle I forgot to mention is that moving coil cartridges come in three output levels. The "low output" type puts out around .5mv. These are generally more costly, and they must be used with a step-up transformer or a preamp which has a specific setting for this type. The "medium output" type puts out around 2mv, and the "high output" type puts out the standard 5mv that moving magnet types do. These last two types do not need a step-up transformer, although the "medium output" type will require the volume knob to be advanced a bit farther to get the same volume level as with other sources.

They type I have, and the one that was used for the transfer of the vinyl tracks on the Smackdown CD is of the "high output" type.

I would avoid at all costs buying a moving magnet type. I have owned moving magnet cartridges all my life but when I swtiched to a moving coil recently, the difference was dramatic, with an opening up of the presentation which frankly amazed me.

In any event, either a preamp with a phono input will be required or a seperate phono preamp. These are not terribly expensive. Add in a good anti-static brush, and you're off to vinyl-land.....

Many current bands are issuing their latest releases on vinyl, in addition to the regular CD. Many people have been labelling this era as the "second golden age" of vinyl.

The records I used were reissues from Classic Records, on 200 gram low noise vinyl. By all means, buy this type of pressing because it is in a totally different league than your run of the mill vinyl from years ago. Also, as I mentioned earlier, in the mastering and cutting of these master laquers, the engineers do not apply low frequency filtering, compression or any other type of alteration beyond perhaps some touch-up EQ. In the past, LPs were very compromised because the engineers cut the masters with the lowest common denomonator of equipment in mind - they wanted to be assured that the records would play on every piece of equipment out there, no matter how . In these pressings, the engineers assume that the equipment that will play it will be top notch, so not compromises are made. I am sure the original 1959 pressings would be far inferior.

Also, the stampers used to make the 200 gram "premium" LPs are only used to make perhaps 500-1000 copies, after which they are used to make the lower priced "mass produced" copies. These lower priced copies will have more ticks and pops than the premium versions, although the surface noise is still lower than LPs of yesteryear, when costs were cut at every step.

I've never noticed a noise buildup or other deterioration on my LPs, but then I have my turntable covered when playing, and keep the records clean. I brush them before play and use an anti-static gun. All my LPs which were bought in years past are far noiser than these new LPs, but they were that way from day one.

I buy all my records at

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post #7 of 14 Old 02-20-09, 06:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: vinyl question.

good stuff JCD. I may have to look into a new cartridge. Like you say though the vinyl hobby can be very expensive especially considering I already own tons of cd's. Too rebuy all of them could put me broke.
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-21-09, 01:36 AM
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Re: vinyl question.

The Denon DL-110 is a superb high output moving coil cartridge. It has overall, a very flat response with a slight decreasing treble, as found to be the case from my actual measurement of the cartridge. Distortion performance is very good/excellent, so far as cartridges go. It is a very low noise cartridge, and has minimal(inaudible) inner groove distortion when set up properly. On a very high grade system, it can easily make very high quality recordings of classical/opera sound realistic. Here is a case where price is not indicative of performance. This is a fine quality/high performance cartridge, regardless of price. BTW, when you get to very high cost cartridges, I have very strong reason to believe that it's essentially snake oil pricing strategies for the most part. There are one or two offerings that offer a near perfect flat response that may be worth the extra price/cost if you are doing professional archiving or have other reasons for needing this extraordinary linearity; but almost never does the added cost of more expensive cartridges get you an ultra-linear performance. Just a unique built in frequency response curve. The ultra-linear cartridges are limited to very few products, and if you have measurement/analysis capability and use a generally accurate cartridge with excellent distortion performance like the Denon DL-110, then the ultra-linear cartridges are of no benefit, as you can easily compensate/equalize the response to flat once you know the specific curve of your specific cartridge sample.


Last edited by WmAx; 02-21-09 at 01:48 AM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-25-09, 11:34 AM
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Re: vinyl question.

mcallister wrote: View Post
yeah I haven't really looked around much. I'm mainly asking because a friend brought some Mobile Fidelity albums over that he bought used (Floyd, Beatles and such) and they were fairly expensive but all of them seemed fairly dirty. I guess I should ask how safe is it to buy used vinyl?
Let's dissect buying used vinyl. Sources include ebay, local used record stores, craigslist, garage sales and thrift shops like Salvation Army and Goodwill.

A good reputable used record store is the safest bet, but you'll pay premium price. A lot of them play grade and even professionally clean their stock. I've had good luck on ebay (mostly 78s, though), but you have to shop smart. If you find a good seller or two, stick with them. Expect a disppointment now and then. I once bought a 45 from a record dealer. He plainly stated his stock was visual graded. His grading was accurate, the record looked fine, but had a small defect that could only be detected by playing.

The most adventurous method of buying is yard sales and thrift stores. I think having a vaccuum record cleaning machine, either commercial or DIY is a must if you go junking. Almost all need a good cleaning before the first play. You'll quickly learn to judge the ones that may look dirty but will play fine. It's a fun way to shop, because you never know what you'll find. Also, they're so cheap (50 cents to a buck or so) that you can afford to take chances. I just paid 50 cents for Steely Dan's "Aja" in mint condition.

If you plan to pursue vinyl, a record cleaning machine should be your next equipment purchase. You can make one yourself for under $100, go midline with a Nitty Gritty type machine ( or go whole hog with a VPI ( I'm handy and made my own using a used vacuum cleaner, an electric ice cream maker, a junk turntable and a modified arm arrangement from a VPI machine. I spent less than $100.

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-27-09, 09:00 AM
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Re: vinyl question.

I received a Pro-Ject Debut III for Christmas from my wife and started going through my old vinyl as well. Some records were in pretty sad states. Regardless, I went to the local analog record dealer and picked their brains for a while and purchased a Anti static record brush and anti static sleeves to place my records in after cleaning.

I looked all over the net for DIY solution to cleaning and vacuuming and jerry rigged an old vacuum cleaner with a crevice attachment plugged at one end and a 1/8" slit down the middle, lined with felt on either side. I made some DIY solution as stated above (and a drop of dawn detergent) and scrubbed the records with one of those paint pads for cutting in and then vacuumed away the residue. A remarkable difference in sound. Some records were beyond hope still (scratches in the vinyl itself), but some that were practically unlistenable were extremely cleaned up acoustically once the grit and grease were removed..

I was quite proud of myself, and did all this without the use of duct tape. A first for me!
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